Tim Tebow became a household name for most sports fans during his four year career playing quarterback for the University of Florida (UF) Gators football team during the 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons. While even casual sports fans are familiar with the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback fewer are aware of what his early life was like long before being drafted by the Denver Broncos in April of 2010 or signing on to play college football for coach Urban Meyer at the University of Florida.
Tim was born in August of 1987 in the Philippines in a city that most Americans have never heard of called Makati City. The seemingly odd location of his birth is a result of the Christian missionary work that his parents Robert and Pamela were doing in the South Pacific at the time. Robert and Pamela met at the University of Florida and for many years now the couple oversees an orphanage in the Philippines.
Tim, along with his siblings, was home schooled from an early age. The motivation of the family to have the mother homeschool the children was greatly motivated by the desire to have a certain faith based set of beliefs instilled into their children, a set of morals that the family felt would be taught more effectively at home rather than in a traditional school setting. Although this promise makes sense when comparing homeschooling to traditional public schools why the family did not choose a private parochial education is unclear.
A 1996 Florida piece of legislation allowing home schooled children to compete in high school sports within the local school districts that they lived in actually paved the way for Tim Tebow to eventually become a household name. The high school football career of the future first round NFL draft pick quarterback began very discreetly while Tim was home schooled and playing linebacker and tight end at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. As many amateur football analysts with 20/20 hindsight can attest the full potential of Tim's athleticism, throwing ability, and leadership skills were underutilized at the tight end position on offense.
In a successful effort to find a high school football program where Tim could flourish as a quarterback Tim and his mother moved from their family farm in Duval County to an apartment in neighboring St. Louis. Johns County in Florida so that Tim would be eligible to play at Nease High School. In large part because Tim was such a standout athlete upset parents of opposing players were frustrated that as a home schooled student athlete he essentially had his pick of any team to play for.
Tim was named the state of Florida Player of the Year following both his junior and senior seasons in high school. Among the numerous accolades that he accumulated during his prep career were recognition as an all-state football player and being named a Parade All-American. In a turn of events that certainly would have surprised the Trinity High School football coaches in Duval County who placed Tim at tight end Tebow was named as one of the best high school football players in the hundred year history of Florida high school football as one of 33 members of the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) All-Century Team.